Timothy Ricker

Timothy Ricker

Rockwood School District officials have chosen Timothy Ricker, a retired superintendent, to lead the district for one year starting July 1.

Ricker was named Rockwood's interim superintendent and will replace current superintendent Mark Miles, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Rockwood Board of Education members voted unanimously Monday (May 3) to offer Ricker a contract and pay him $230,000, for next school year.

Miles is being paid $231,750 this school year.

Ricker accepted the contract during a closed meeting on Thursday (May 6), and the board voted unanimously to hire him as the interim superintendent.

District officials said they would hire an interim to give them enough time to complete a search for a superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year.

“Dr. Ricker will be a tremendous asset to Rockwood during this transitional year,” school board president Jaime Bayes said. “He has a wealth of experience, has ties to our community, and he is highly regarded as a strong educational leader. He is dedicated to student success and believes that student potential is unlimited and that learning is a lifelong endeavor. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with his experience and knowledge of the Rockwood community during this critical transitional year.”

Ricker has 45 years of experience as an educator and currently works for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as the state supervisor of instruction for the St. Louis metropolitan region and the southeast region, the district reported in a written statement.

Before he began working for DESE in 2012, Ricker was a superintendent for the Lemont Bromberek Central School District in Illinois from 2006 to 2011 and the Mehlville School District from 2003 to 2006.

Ricker has a doctorate degree from Southern Illinois University, an educational specialist degree from Central Missouri State University, a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor’s degree from Northeast Missouri State University.

Ricker’s three children are Eureka High School graduates and he is a grandparent of a Babler Elementary student, according to a written statement.

Ricker said he is looking forward to working for Rockwood.

“It will be an honor and pleasure to work with the Rockwood School District communities, Board of Education, administration, staff, parents and, especially, the students as we transition to a future permanent superintendent over the next year,” Ricker said.

“A focus on academic success for all students will continue to be a priority as we move to the future. The Rockwood School District has much to celebrate and be proud of over the years. In any district, there is always room for continuous improvement. Working diligently to identify and address the needs of students and staff as we move forward during such difficult times will only be accomplished if we focus on what is important and work together.

“I look forward to serving in this interim capacity in a district that has given me and my family so much. Now it is time for me to give back and serve. I believe we all want the Rockwood School District to continue to be one of the premier school districts in the region and state. Our students deserve no less.”

Miles, 50, has been the Rockwood superintendent since July 1, 2019, following Eric Knost’s departure after the 2018-2019 school year.

Miles received a three-year deal when he was hired, and in March, the board voted unanimously to extend his contract by a year through June 2023.

On April 8, school board members voted unanimously to accept Miles’ retirement, Mondl said.

Board member Jaime Bayes said she is sad to see Miles leave.

“We support his decision and what's best for him and his family,” she said. “He has been a great leader for the Rockwood School District.”

Miles said he has mixed emotions about leaving.

“This is a bittersweet transition,” he said in a letter to the staff and community. “I am thankful for my time in the Rockwood School District. It is truly a special place with remarkable people providing exceptional opportunities for our students.”